Manny’s Mexican Restaurant Opens in Captain Cook
You have been warned: Bring your appetite. I am writing this at 7:54 p.m. and I still haven’t made dinner. I may not.
Being a huge fan of Mexican food, I had been anxiously awaiting the opening of Manny’s in Captain Cook. Finally, the outside umbrellas were open, and there was a “Grand Opening” banner up in front.
Manny’s used to be the Mahina Café’, which was good; I’ll forever miss their potato-mac salad with chopped black olives. Before that, it was another Mexican restaurant (the name escapes me), which I loved and mourned when it closed. You can imagine how happy I was to learn the spot would again be a Mexican restaurant.
Parking in Captain Cook restaurants can be a challenge; Manny’s has an advantage. As you enter, there is parking. In the back, more parking. On the side, yet more parking. In short, parking bliss.
I was glad they kept the red chairs from the Mahina Café, and added checkered tablecloths. It’s really cheerful inside now. There is more of a cantina/Western/Mexican feel to it. Everything (including the kitchen, which is visible) is spotlessly clean, including the bathrooms.
Manny’s is also kid-friendly. Two families were feeding youngsters and made some special requests, which didn’t at all ruffle the waitress or the kitchen.
Let’s talk about the food, mis amigos. My husband had the burrito with chicken. It had bright, fresh flavors (I think I picked up some lime and cilantro, when I stole a bite). The tomatoes tasted like tomatoes, a pretty good trick these days. I had the Sope special with pork (A sope is a thin, shallow shell of masa, fried until just crisp, then filled.). Aside from the pork, it also contained refried beans, lettuce, and queso. There were three sope to a plate; I made it through one. It was great. I thought the medium salsa was a little hot, but my husband said I was a big baby and that it was fine (I’d still order the “mild” next time.).
Prices range from around $8 to $16.
They won’t have their liquor license until May, so if you need a beer with your food, hold off for a bit. Their iced tea was really good, though.
The staff was very friendly and helpful, honestly answering questions and fully explaining the specials.
Manny’s is located at 82-6123 Mamalahoa Highway, Captain Cook, Hawai’i. (808) 936-6124. Parking located around and behind building. Open Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed Sundays. Credit Cards accepted. Go hungry.